3 Words to Change Your Neural Pathway: I love You.

If we understood the power of our thoughts,

we would guard them more closely.

If we understood the awesome power of our words,

we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.

In our thoughts and words, we create

our own weaknesses and our own strengths.

Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts.

We can always replace negative with positive.

– Bettie Eadie

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Hello Bright Light!

How the heck are we nearly halfway through February?  Lawdy.  Well, since many consider this the month of Love, I thought it would be fun to talk about the Circle of Love and the Lenses of Love. 

If you have been flowing with this blog from the get-go, then you know I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day due to multiple deaths around that date.  Plus, now I know that our animal companions offer A Love Not of This World everyday.  Now I see Every Day is the 14th!  And … Feb 20th is not only national cherry pie day, it’s Love Your Pet Day!

So, this will be a new take on Love with a cool twist.  This post is something I Am really passionate about.  It’s empowering.  And I promise, if you let it in, it will change your lives. 

So grab your tea, water, or wine, invite your best fur friend for a cuddle sesh, and get comfy.  It’s about to get Real. 

🎙(Oh, if you are not a big reader, and if you’d prefer to listen to the written portion of this post as a podcast, you can listen here.)🎙


As an avid student of both philosophy and positive behavior modification, I understand and appreciate how challenging it can be to change the way we believe and think.  As Empath and Intuitive, I also appreciate that how we feel is directly linked to what we are thinking and believing.  It’s all connected.  But sometimes, it’s a big annoying wheel of feels.

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All the Feelz

If you want to change your life, you must change your mind and change your brain … on purpose. -Bill Crawford


Change and the Three Brains

There is much more at play, beyond our emotions, when it comes to change. Neuroscience research has shown that we have three fully functioning “brains”.  Check out this quote below:

 Our head (cephalic) brain is best suited for creativity, logic, and problem solving. Our heart (cardiac) brain serves us best when accessed for passion and compassion. And our gut (enteric) brain is the source of courage and self-protection. The vagus nerve is the communication channel between the three brains. 90% of the brain signals traveling through the vagus nerve are traveling up; only 10% travel down!

How our thoughts and brain influence our lives is overlooked and greatly underappreciated.  More importantly, how we can become more aware and influential of this process is essential if we want anything to be different. 

It begins within.

The quote above sums up where we can start.  All we need is a little willingness to change our mind about things.  Regardless of the form: a reactive rover, a frustrating feline, a careless coworker, a nosy neighbor, a sassy sister, or bothersome brother – we can change how we perceive their behavior, and how we respond to them in every circumstance.

unconditional Love_seeing with love_the Voice for Love  

“For what you see, feel, hear and experience depends a good deal on where you are standing and also where your mind is.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew, Chronicles of Narnia


Years ago, I discovered both people and pets fall into one or two elemental groups: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Metal.  Holistic health practitioners (for both people and pets) classify patients according to the five-element theory.  This includes:

  • body structure
  • tendencies
  • temperaments
  • emotions
  • positive and negative behaviors
  • moods
  • illnesses

These can all be viewed in relation to the five elements.  Usually there are one or two elements that are predominant in a pet or person. (There are links at the end of this post that go into this in detail.)

five-elements-What sign are you_5 elements

Our big grey bear of a cat was a Wood personality.  Our dog is a combo of Earth and Wood, and I can be a combo of both wood and Fire.  The emotion associated with the Wood element is anger.  When anger predominates, one becomes easily upset and is unable to appropriately restrain their feelings. “Wood” get angry easily and are prone to physical reactions and shouting. These unstable emotions result in the uneven circulation of Qi (energy) and Blood, creating a generalized state of tension and stress.

The combination of combustible cats and canines created very heated moments in our house.

flames on the side of my face
Mrs. White, from the cult classic movie “Clue” sums up the combustion.

Compassion is a choice.

Some days I was less than unhelpful when it got heated.  Being both a triple Sagittarius and a Fire Personality within the 5 Chinese elements, I tend to get “heated” quickly.   When I am stressed, I can become overwhelmed wicked fast.  When I am on my last nerve I can get triggered quickly.   When I am at my worst, my temper could rival a volcano.   

But on my best days, I am calm, collected, and can cruise through any crisis.

Thankfully, my best days are the majority these days.  But I wasn’t always at my best.  Before I began practicing what I call mind training, and keeping an open heart, I was reactive.  My world was often overwhelming.  My default was reacting.

Fear ran the show.

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But as I promised in an earlier post, I have to be honest.  Here’s the truth: My pendulum can swing wildly from unconditional love to oh-hell-no.  On the days when I am maxed out emotionally and physically, I need my space.   And I need peace and quiet.  Period. 

But I also need love.

Just like our animal companions, when we are at our worst, this is when we need kindness, unconditional love, self-care, and compassion.  But in the moment – when we are feeling drained, pulled at, and impinged upon — we can become reactive to the ones we love most.

That’s when WE need LOVE the most.

When I say “we need love”, I am referring to bringing love into our awareness, and letting the Voice for Love run the show. – not the fearful ego.  I call the ego “Drop Dead Fred”.  Do you remember that character from the movie?  He’s beyond obnoxious.  And so is the monkey mind that tries to take over when we are tired. 

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Drop Dead Fred doing his damnedest to influence his person, as she begins to no longer listen to him

Regardless of how much we are struggling in the moment, however fearful, frustrated, drained, strained, or upset we are, we have a choice. We don’t have to allow the ego to take the wheel and drive.  We don’t have to become overwhelmed, upset, angry, irritated, or reactive to anyone or anything, including inanimate objects, strangers, or the ones we truly love.

We Can Choose Love.

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Being An Extension of Love

There’s an empowering saying that I live by these days:  We are either extending love or we are calling for love.  

This is not limited to people.  This goes for every living being and their behavior.  I will talk more about this in the book, but for now, think of extending love as BEING an extension of what you consider LOVE to be.  For me, it’s as simple as being kind and compassionate.  Think of “calling for love” as anything other than that.  A “Call for Love” can come in a myriad of forms; some of which are downright ugly and scary.

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This combustible convo might have occurred in our home when I was at my worst.

But here’s the kicker that’s easier said than done:  Regardless of either form (calling for love, or extending love) the response should be love. 

Now, clearly, I do not always remember this.  And even sometimes when I do remember this, I still react.  BADLY.   In fact, there is one particular family member who I have the toughest time NOT reacting to … on. the. reg.

He is what I would call my greatest lesson in love.  I call him that because he is teaching me, through all the ways I am triggered, that regardless of the form of his behavior, my response can be love.

When I choose to respond with love, it changes everything. 



As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.

– ACIM, Chapter 8: The Journey Back

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Remembering this powerful Truth brings me into a state of higher awareness, compassion, and kindness.  Remembering this allows me to step back and become the observer of what is occurring within my environment, rather than reacting.  Remembering this brings me peace.  When I am at peace, I can be peaceful and extend this peace outward. When I am at peace, I am kind with myself and others.  The videos below describes what I am talking about. 

3 Words to Change Your Neural Pathway:


Part 1

Part 2


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Kindness reflects our inherent oneness with each other, while attack drives us still further apart in our awareness. – Ken Wapnick, The Healing Power of Kindness, Vol. 1: Releasing Judgment


When we really understand and appreciate the power of neural pathways and how they are created in the brain, we take our power back.  We learn how to truly let go of unhelpful habitual behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs.  When we appreciate the power of perception, we empower ourselves.

Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible.

We can become conscious of what we focus on.  We can become mindful of what we are mindful of.  We can replace the negative with something positive. We can choose to re-frame it in our Mind.

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When we are faced with everyday life situations, we have an opportunity to notice.  There is always a very revealing way that we can begin to monitor our minds.  We can do this with practical matters we find difficult or challenging. 

Imagine.

What would happen if you could say, “I love you.” when someone is behaving completely bonkers.  What if they were out of their mind and you could still think it silently.   Imagine if, while your dog was reacting to something in his/her environment, you didn’t react, too.  Imagine calmly saying to your canine companion, “I love you.”

Imagine the possibilities. 

Imagine the miracles.

We can begin to watch how we respond when our family, ourselves, partner, friends, strangers, coworkers, or animal companions are stressed, stressing us out, or going through a crisis.  During these trying times, our unconscious feelings will surface.  When they do, we often project those fears out, unfortunately, onto everyone from strangers to the ones who love us with all that they are. 

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It’s important to never underestimate the depth of our unconscious fear of returning to the mind.  It’s also important to become aware of our attraction to blaming outside circumstances (in whatever form they may be) for our inner condition.  Regardless of their reactivity, or their behavior, we get to choose. 

We always have the power to choose how we respond.

We can choose to react, or to observe.  We can choose to listen to the voice for love, or the voice for fear.  We can choose kindness and compassion, or we can choose to be critical. We can choose to extend love, or call for love.  

Let’s consider choosing Love.

“The only path wide enough for us all is love.” ― Kamand Kojouri

But first, let’s begin by being loving and kind to ourselves; we cannot give to others what we do not have.  It begins within.  Our hearts and minds are One. If we want to give to others, in challenging times, we have to start with kindness and compassion with ourselves.

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Over the decades, I have been down, broken, and fragmented by every pain imaginable.  I have been at my lowest of lows and at my worst.  But eventually I left the storm and shadows and returned to the light.  I remembered that We Are One, and that at our core, we are Love.  

Then the rainstorm came over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost all of my belief, you see
And realized my mistake
But time threw a prayer to me
And all around me became still

I need love, love’s divine
Please forgive me, now I see that I’ve been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don’t bend, don’t break
Show me how to live and promise me you won’t forsake
‘Cause love can help me know my name

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💜Finding Peace Together, Near The End💜

Note:  These videos were created during a very challenging time in our lives.  Not only was a family member going through constant chemo, but in addition to my career, I was the primary caretaker for a geriatric feline family member who was struggling physically.  He was a wood personality, and was on hospice care at home.  All of these circumstances were emotionally and physically challenging for everyone in our family.      

Choosing Love, kindness, and compassion was essential.

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When it comes to being the guardian of an aging animal companion or family member with health complications, even the most loving people have their limits.  The daily stresses and struggles our beloveds go through as they are aging can weigh on their caretakers, too.  Acknowledging this is essential.   

Have compassion for yourself.  Practice Self Care while you are caring. 

But Never forget this:  No matter the challenge you are facing, there is always another way of seeing your circumstances.  We are never a victim of circumstances.  Life is flowing through us.  We are One.


So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. ― Alan Wilson Watts


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Oh, and before you go, take a listen to this oldie but goodie… “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel .  It’s a beautiful reminder that we don’t need the ones we love to be anything but just the way they are.  We shouldn’t need conditions to change to love them better.  Loving them for all that they are is True Love.  This is a love that is unconditional.  

I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble

We never could have come this far

I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times

I’ll take you just the way you are

 I said I love you and that’s forever

And this I promise from the heart

I could not love you any better

I love you just the way you are

 Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel


Related Reading / Recommended Links & Videos:


If you would like support with your aging animal companion you are welcome to contact me.  

If you are also an Empath, HSP, Starseed, or Intuitive, you are invited to join our loving commUNITY!

You can learn more about caring for aging animals here, and force-free behavior modification here.

Be well. Be kind. We are all in this together! 

Not Quite Love at First Sight

I Am determined to See. -ACIM

Hocus Pocus and me on our rooftop deck at our home on the beach in Cali

This Soul. 💛

Unconditional Love.

Light. Guardian. Pathfinder.

Heaven Sent. Angel Incarnate.

I ran from her initially; fearful of the love that called. Terrified of losing a timeless love again. Unable to let love in again. Blind. Unable to See.

Eventually I surrendered.
I let Love in.
I let love lead.


I couldn’t see
I couldn’t hear
Shut me off when you were near
Like a cloud
A dusty mirror
Disappear, you disappear
All of a sudden
All alone
I’m calling out
I’m calling love’s gonna let me know
“Let Me Know”, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs


She’s shown me worlds I never could have imagined. She’s challenged me in ways I never knew possible. She reflects back to me what I have yet to see within.

I am forever grateful.💝


Hocus is not unique in what she offers our family and the countless souls she encounters while she is here on Earth. Every one of our animal companions is a compassionate teacher in furry, feathered, or scaly suits. Every moment we have with them is a gift. Every emotion they invoke within us is a message.

But are we listening? Are we open to learning from them?
Are we willing to go within? Are we willing to SEE clearly?

I Am.



Yesterday was the anniversary of our beloved Hocus Pocus’ “Gotcha Day.” Coincidentally, it was also my Aunt’s birthday and the date of when her mother (my grandmother) was tortured and killed, then dumped on the side of the road for a small boy and his dog to later find.

A myriad of emotions.
Among them, Joy and Gratitude Reigned. 👑

My grandmother is still with us. She is our guardian angel. Her tragic transition out of this world was only the beginning; a new life for her … for all of us. And I honestly believe that our grandmother, Dolores, had a divine hand in directing Hocus Pocus to us. There are no coincidences.


Even in tragedy there are miracles in the making.
Rebirth. Life Reborn. Beginnings. Alchemy. Forgiveness. Awareness. Transformation. Insight. Healing. Spiritual Sight. Awakening.
Love Waiting.

No matter the illusion of form: birth, death, celebration, suffering; they are all invitations to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.
They are calling you Home to Love.
🧡🖤💛💖
Love Is.
✨♾✨

For you could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you heard it, and the whole world you thought you made would vanish. —ACIM, chapter 13



As I mentioned above, yesterday was Hocus Pocus’ “Gotcha Day”, and we are still celebrating!!! If you haven’t heard of a Gotcha Day, it’s basically an adoption day/ the day your animal companion came into your life. So, for those of y’all who love cheesy videos, here ya go 😉

Love’s gonna let me know
Like the day you took me home
We counted every minute left to go
My love’s gonna let you know
Let Me Know, Yeah Yeah Yeahs




Happy “Gotcha Day”, Hocus Pocus!

And if you’d like to read an excerpt of a current book in the works, you can view “Love At First Sight … Not Quite” in the link below. It’s a short story about how Hocus Pocus found our family, and more importantly who really invited Hocus into our lives. I am forever grateful.

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Conscious Companion

Cats Who Cache!

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Hello Friends, and happy weekend!  I hope this finds you and yours well in all ways as we are in full swing of winter.  Here in the northeast we are preparing for a major winter storm, so this will be a (relatively) short post.

🎙For those who prefer to listen to this blog post, you can access the audio version here.🎙 You can also watch a short video summary here.

Let’s get to it!  It’s Caturday! So let’s talk cats.


If you are fortunate to be the guardian of a feline, then you are blessed beyond measure.  Being “owned” by a cat does have its benefits; albeit frustrations and confusions, too. But any confusion and frustrations are easily mitigated when we understand the WHY behind behaviors.

If you have been flowing with this blog for a while now, you know that house cats are:

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If you have been paying attention, then you now know that all house cats need:

  • Proper, positive socialization to a variety of sights, sounds, and scents
  • Vertical space
  • Daily exercise
  • Daily mental stimulation
  • Ability to exercise their natural instinct to hunt
  • Acceptable outlets for their natural behaviors
  • To feel safe in and around your home
  • Litter boxes that are spacious, clean, and the right fit for each feline’s lifestage
  • Appropriate and species-specific nutrition
  • Regular, species-specific veterinary care
  • Basic positive (fun) training time
  • Choices

Knowing all of this is only part of the pussycat puzzle.  Innate Behaviors are often at the heart of these needs.

‘People have forgotten this truth,’ the fox said. ‘But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.’  ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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All in the Instincts!

 Many of the behaviors we observe our feline family members displaying are closely controlled by genes. These behaviors are called innate behaviors.  They are behaviors that are inborn; naturally occurring in all members of a species.  Within each species, Innate behaviors are predictable. These behaviors can be performed in response to a cue (changing of the seasons, daylight, etc.) without prior experience /exposure to a particular cue. 

Think of them as reflex responses/actions.  Unlike behaviors such as learning to ride a bike, tie your shoe, or brush your teeth, Innate behaviors do not have to be learned or practiced.  

  • Innate behaviors are instinctive.
  • They are controlled by genes and always occur in the same way.
  • Innate behaviors do not have to be learned or practiced.
  • Innate behaviors generally involve basic life functions, so it’s important that they be performed correctly.

These kinds of behaviors are also called instinctive behaviors.  An instinct is the ability of an animal to perform a behavior the first time it is exposed to something that causes a response, within their body.  

 Examples:

  • courtship
  • mating
  • mothering
  • escape
  • defensive maneuvers

Our cat committee is currently creating a book for families that will discuss more of this in detail. But that’s the basics of what you need to now about today’s topic.

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Hard-Wired Needs

There is one innate behavior I would like to talk about today that really fascinates me about felines. And I really think you’ll enjoy it.  It’s called Caching. 

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Have you ever noticed your cat trying to cover his/her food? All of our cats do it after they have finished eating if there is leftover food.  Well, let’s be honest: Knox never leaves any food. -Pretty sure he’s a direct descent of Garfield.

 

Cats who cover their food are not unusual critters.  Many more species do this behavior than most realize!

Critters Who Cache

Many animals practice the behavior of caching. Here are a few examples:

  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Foxes
  • Hamsters
  • Rooks
  • Woodpeckers
  • Scrub Jays
  • Mountain Lions

Caching behavior is the storage of food in locations hidden from the sight of both conspecifics (animals of the same or closely related species) and members of other species.  For some species, the function of caching is to store food in times of surplus for times when food is less plentiful. However, there is evidence that some caching behavior is done to ripen the food.  Foxes and squirrels tend to spread out their food in small caches (“scatter hoard”) so that, although one may be discovered by another animal, enough will remain.

Scrub Jay Caching

Why Cats Cache

Cats are predators and prey.  Cats who live in the wild, (feral cats, cougars, panthers, etc.) often attempt to bury uneaten food or cover a recently killed carcass.  It’s believed wildcats do this to:

  • avoid attracting any predators to the area
  • attempt to not alert potential prey that a feline hunter is in the vicinity

Once the wildcat has eaten his/her fill of their prey, the cougar will cover their prey with substrate (grass, leaves, or other ground material) to protect it from spoiling or from being eaten by other animals. The cougar will usually remain in the area near his/her cache for several days, occasionally returning to feed on the carcass.

Bobcats will cover the remains of a large kill with debris such as snow, leaves, twigs or grass. The bobcat will revisit the carcass and eat again. Panthers will rake leaves and twigs over a carcass to hide the carcass from scavengers. This behavior is very common and is part of a natural and healthy wildcat. Check out these fascinating felines caching their food in the wild!

F99, an orphaned cougar kitten, caching an elk carcass she discovered. Photograph by Mark Elbroch / Panthera nationalgeographic.org/author/melbroch/

A Caching Cougar In Action!

Below is a time-lapse video an adult female mountain lion who has been followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project. This cougar is in northwest Wyoming, caching a mule deer she killed:

In winter, it’s common for cougars to lose access to at least half of every elk they kill. Cougars tend to feed on one side of an elk at a time, and by the time they are finished with one side, the other can be wedged beneath a solid layer of compressed snow and ice, and completely inaccessible. 
-Mark Elbroch, Teton Cougar Project

This is important to realize because it helps us understand the foraging ecology of cougars. Cougars need to kill a specific amount of meat to meet their energetic demands for living, but they kill much more than this. In summer, bears steal their kills, and in winter, cold weather and snow steal their food. Thus, cougars are often unable to consume all of what they kill, and so they must kill again more quickly. -Mark Elbroch



On Nov 2, 2015 a hunter spotted a cougar caching her prey:


The hunter states, “Came face to face with a mountain lion while out hunting in the Swan Valley (Montana). After some investigation, I found a deer cached under a large amount of debris. Instead of hunting, I went back home and grabbed a game camera and set it up on the cache site.” – Adam Lieberg


A mountain lion burying a deer carcass. The new study shows that such caches provide important habitat and food for hundreds of species.
CREDIT FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS/JON NELSON

Mountain lions typically cache their kills beneath a mound of snow but when temperatures drop precipitously at night, this behavior frequently backfires.  Unlike foxes, coyotes, and wolves, cougars lack the strong feet and stout claws for intensive excavation. Thus, when snows become thick ice that hinders their ability to feed, cougars abandon their kills to hunt again.


Habitats Created from Caching!

Most people think of beavers as ecological engineers, building dams, and creating new habitats from their creations, but a new study shows mountain lions modify their environments in a similar way.

Unlike wolves, mountain lions leave large intact pieces of dead meat on the landscape that draw lots of species that then distribute those nutrients far and wide. It is so important to ecosystem health to maintain carrion on the landscape which supports a huge diversity of wildlife through supplemental feeding, through maintenance of invertebrate community. It just goes on and on. – Mark Elbroch, the Director of the Puma Project

Napping & Caching!

I love this video below.  It’s rare footage of a subadult female cougar.  In the video she’s just waking from a long nap, and is slightly disoriented …  A bit later she is caching the elk carcass she discovered and claimed as her own.

House Cats Who Cache

Caching behavior is also quite common in house cats. A lot of folks think this is because their cat doesn’t like the food, but in fact, it’s an innate behavior inherited from their ancestors.

Even the comfy couch cats who have never set paw outside retains this feline instinct.  A feline’s natural instinct is to cover food from scavengers or potential threats that might be tracking the scent. Unlike their wild cousins and dogs, House Cats are not scavengers; they are both predator and prey, so they don’t bury their leftover food to consume later; with house cats, it’s for protective purposes. But because all cats are individuals within the species, the degree to which the cat attempts to hide/bury the food depends on the individual cat’s comfort level and concern for exposed uneaten food.

What Caching Behavior Looks Like In House Cats:  The cat is burying something.  The cat is pawing at the carpet, kitchen tile, or dragging her front paw on the floor around their food mat, puzzle feeder, or bowl.  The cat may become so focused on burying the food that he/she pushes the food mat/plate around. Some cats may pull a blanket, tissue paper, or food mat over their leftovers, if these items are nearby.

House Cats Caching Food

In this short video you can see one of our feline family members covering his food, and how similar this behavior is to cougars:




Become the Observer of Behavior.

Frustrating felines, puzzling pussycats, and bewildering behaviors common in homes with house cats. But all behavior has roots. Either it’s learned or innate. Caching is just one example of how we so often misunderstand cats and mislabel cat behavior. We label the behavior, make it wrong, or make fun of it. But this particular caching behavior works for cats; it serves an important purpose. Once we begin to understand that all behavior serves a purpose, we gain a new perspective.

We gain compassion.

We know that wildcats and house cats are learning all the time. We can choose to learn as well. It’s up to us as stewards of Mother Earth, and guardians of house cats to learn how to show respect, better communicate with them, listen better to them, and to learn something new from them every day.

“Reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it.” – Byron Katie

Now when you see your cat at home doing this behavior, you’ll have a greater appreciation and understanding of WHY!

A Matter of Misperceptions

Cougars, like house cats, are often misunderstood. The video below is a rare and intimate glimpse into the family lives of America’s second-largest cats. The film debunks long-held perceptions of cougars as solitary, anti-social animals and reveals their social and caring side: This footage was gathered by the conservation group Teton Cougar Project, revealing a family who is playful, affectionate, and interdependent.
The footage also shows that sometimes, adult female cougars adopt orphaned kittens that would otherwise perish.

It shows how behaviors are passed down from one generation to the next, how young kittens learn from interactions with their mother and siblings, exhibiting behaviors such as stalking, caching and sharing meals.

I invite you to watch this short film, “The Secret Life of Mountain Lions”:

Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.


Recommended Related Reading


This blog post is intended for educational purposes only. Please visit Panthera’s Teton Cougar and Panthera’s Puma program sites for more info!


Learn more about the fascinating felines with whom you share a home, at our Website! 


Citations:

• Panthera pardus (Carnivora: Felidae) Andrew B. Stein Virginia Hayssen: Mammalian Species, Volume 45, Issue 900, 12 June 2013, Pages 30–48, https://doi.org/10.1644/900.1

• Cache-Protecting Behavior of Food-Hoarding Animals: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4613-1839-2_22

• Quantifying animal movement for caching foragers: the path identification index (PII) and cougars, Puma concolor: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29201376

• Cougar Predation Behavior in North-Central Utah, Dustin L. Mitchell: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2509&context=etd

• Some aspects of predatory behavior: 1978: https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-2337(1978)4:4<287::AID-AB2480040402>3.0.CO;2

• Prey preferences of the leopard (Panthera pardus): 01 June 2006 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00139.x

• Predator size and prey size–gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/oik.05488

• The interaction of hunger and preying in the domestic cat (Felis catus): An adaptive hierarchy? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091677376921660

• Behaviors of Bobcats Preying on White-tailed Deer in the Everglades: https://bioone.org/journals/The-American-Midland-Naturalist/volume-139/issue-2/0003-0031(1998)139%5B0275:BOBPOW%5D2.0.CO;2/Behaviors-of-Bobcats-Preying-on-White-tailed-Deer-in-the/10.1674/0003-0031(1998)139%5B0275:BOBPOW%5D2.0.CO;2.short

• Avoiding intraguild competition : leopard feeding ecology and prey caching in northern Botswana: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sabinet/wild2/2015/00000045/00000002/art00012

Midweek Wisdom

TruDat!

“The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn’t been fully recognized. They keep millions of people sane.” -Eckhart Tolle

ConsciousCompanion.com

A New Year’s Blessing for You

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Hello Friends, Bright Lights, and Starlight!

I hope wherever you are, this finds you and yours at peace in all ways possible.  As we release 2018 and welcome 2019 I offer you this blessing:


If I could lay before you the dearest gift this evening

It would be a time of no beginning and no end.

It would be life filled with good health and peace and inner joy that can only come from the Spirit.

You would quietly refine your thoughts and words so that you never draw to you anything but the finest.

You would rest deeply and breathe in sweet peace.

You would know the tremendous difference between the material and the spiritual – turning from anger and frustration to a safe haven of love.

You would always be the most loyal friend – not only to others but to yourSelf.

All the issues of life rise out of the heart – so this is a gift from heart to heart.

– A Cherokee Feast of Days by Joyce Sequichie

Below is a video I created a few years ago with that beautiful Cherokee blessing.

 ✨🌅✨




We are All setting aside 2018 and shifting into a New Year. As one chapter in life ends, another begins.  Have you taken time out of your hectic holiday schedule to consider what this upcoming year has in store for our precious souls, and how you will create a new chapter???

Below are just a few of the questions that come to mind when I consider the new chapter that’s beginning for us all.  In each question I’ve included my favorite inspirational videos or posts from the past few years.  I hope you enJOY!

Energy Medicine_energy healing for pets_animal communication_empath_intuitive_starseed_conscious companion
My husband’s stone, reflecting a sunset on the ocean


As we let go of 2018 and glide into 2019 …

Will this be a beautiful new beginning?  – An ending to a complex chapter?

Will there be more joy and laughter? – An ending to shedding tears?

Will we be kinder? – An ending to criticism of our self and others?

Will we practice more Self Care? – An ending to ignoring our glorious vessel?

Will we be more cognizant of how we spend our precious energy? – An ending to overdoing, and overstretching ourselves?

Will we see our animal companions as Benevolent Beings? – An ending to frustration?

Will we know that  We Are One? -An ending to separation and judgement?

Will we become more mindful and fully present? -An end to mind-wandering and constant distraction?

Will we remember to get outside into Mother Nature?  -An ending to a sedentary lifestyle?

Will we recognize our Fellow Earth Travelers as brothers & sisters?  -An end to divisions and superiority?

Will every day be the dawn of a new adventure? -An ending to feeling stuck?

Will it be filled with empowerment and peace? -An ending to stress, struggling, and strife?

Will we know there is no death? Only a doorway to a new way of Being?

Will we know that with every thought and deed we Create ripple effects in unimaginable ways?

Will we lovingly release the past and graciously welcome the new?🧡

I hope so.💜

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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.  And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” (Little Gidding) ― T.S. Eliot



I am not one to dwell on the past.  I rarely even glance a day behind me, but I do know that we can learn from the lessons that come through us; for the past challenges and future opportunities are lessons we can learn from now.

This year has been a blessing in innumerable ways.  Many of these blessings are yet unrecognized, but they are there.  It’s also been a challenge.  As I look forward in gratitude to the new chapter, I am reminded of so much that family, friends, and countless communities have been moving through.  But more importantly, I Am thankful for the tremendous healing and growth that have come from it. I am grateful for kindness, compassion, unity, and forgiveness.

We are All in this together.

We Are One.


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On a more personal note, it’s been one helluva rollercoaster.🎢 I do love a wild ride, but I deeply miss someone whom we said goodbye to, so this video is near and dear to my heart.  Although it highlights 2016, its message is still relevant today for many families with furry ones.  I hope this speaks to your mind and heart; a reminder of what gratitude, empowerment, laughter, Joy, and Unconditional Love can bring. 

This is a glimpse into what I feel our animal companions are thankful for:


                                                                      🧡

Copyright Conscious Companion 2019

“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
― D. Simone


May every moment of 2019 be filled with inexplicable peace.♥️

Watching the sun as it sets on the ending to 2018 and the beginning of 2019

  ConsciousCompanion.com

Thanksgiving Tips for Busy Families (plus silly bloopers)

Are You Ready?

Thanksgiving is almost here in the U.S.  Some dread it; some can’t wait. We keep it low key, so I am grateful for that.  Heck, we don’t even have a dining room table since the move, so this year should be interesting.  Regardless of the set-up, some families have hectic holidays.  That’s why it’s critical to plan and prepare … especially if you share a home with the furry, feathered, or scaly kind. 

This short post is dedicated to those of you out there who could use a few tips for Thanksgiving to be less hectic and more harmonic. 


In our household, 365 days a year, we do our best to help every animal to feel safe and secure.  We continue to counter condition and desensitize animal to their individual perceived threats. We practice energy management. We strive to set them all up for success.  We use tools and techniques to ensure their perceived “threat level” is at zero.  We respect boundaries, believe in consent, and factor in FUN! 

But these are only pieces of the peaceful puzzle.

Boundaries, Please.

Creating safe boundaries is an essential key to creating peace and harmony in your home, especially during and after stressful holiday festivities.  If you have children, guide them by showing them how to to respect the animal’s space or enclosure.  Teach them to be mindful and respectful of each individual animal’s tolerance for noise and commotion.   Ensure that our animal companions have their own safe bubble where they are free from being “loved on” (AKA being pestered).  If you have family or friends visiting, remind them to give the animals space.

King Albert and Mr. Beaux sharing warm sunny spot, enjoying peace

Consider “Consent”.

▪️How do you feel when a friend, family member or stranger touches you without your consent?
▪️How would you react if someone whom you’re sometimes uncomfortable with started stroking or rubbing on you without your permission?
▪️How would you feel if a stranger touched your face, or another area few go near?

Just reading those questions made you uncomfortable, didn’t it❓

🔸Many animal companions experience this daily.  They tolerate the uninvited touches, the cuddling without consent, and the petting without permission.  Imagine being an animal companion who experiences this multiple times a day every day, for years.  Then consider how challenging that could be if you were an animal companion who has a underlying medical conditions, fears, and challenges with close-encounters.

Choice Matters, But There’s More to It.

If the animals choose to be around your guests, remember that the dog or cat may be excited to see newcomers, but in the next instant they very well could be more protective of things they consider “high value” such as bedding, treats, their people, and their food.  Remember those stress hormones are in their system!

Sharing Space Momentarily or Best Buds? There’s a Big Difference!

Also, if the animals in your home are not the best of buds, and they’re merely coexisting with one another, creating safe spaces for each animal and managing your home environment carefully is imperative. Give everyone ample safe space!

Being aware of each animal’s individual threshold, and their need for safe, quiet refuge after any kind of commotion is how we become conscious companions for the animals with which we share a home. 

Despite what we often may think, animals are pretty complex creatures. They speak a different language than we do, they have quirks in their personalities that can make them quite unusual sometimes (like us humans) and they often display anxiety and discomfort in ways we don’t.

Over the years we have observed each animal in our home respond with a different type of reactivity to their individual perceived threats. The dog has been known to lunge and bark, freeze and growl, or retreat. Her response depended on what she felt threatened by, and by her individual stress/hormone levels at that moment.

Cortisol is an adrenal hormone with a great number of effects on the body. The level goes up or down quickly in response to stress.

Each of the cats has their own individual response, depending on the trigger at the time, and their individual stress hormone levels. You might recall one of your animals behaving this way when they are stressed. You might even recall doing this yourself!

That’s why we set everyone up for success!

Cooking with kids and canines — setting everyone up for success! (image from Family Paws Parent Education)


                       Holiday Tips for Busy Families

Check out the video below (filled with bloopers).  I made this a couple of years ago, but the points are timeless.  This will give you some giggles, insight, and ideas on how you can prepare your entire family for a Thanksgiving Feast, and how to enjoy the Family Festivities in Harmony!

Remember to Laugh, But Focus on Prevention!

Although I included some silly bloopers in this video, the points I address are very important.  Please consider the needs of everyone in your home. Please plan ahead and prepare. And remember that your energy and attitude is contagious!

Hocus Pocus Loves Pumpkin Pie, but we make sure she’s not tempted by offering her more appropriate thanksgiving goodies 😉

P.S. Be sure to check out the articles and videos at the end of this post; all are related to what I discuss in this video!

“I am who I am today because of the mistakes I made yesterday.”

― The Prolific Penman



Becoming a Conscious Companion

If you are reading this, I can assume that you love the animals that you share your life with enough to be inspired or learn more to improve their lives.  I encourage you to take that love and funnel it into educating yourself, and your family and friends about the basic behavior of the species that you work with, live with, and adore.  Every day I challenge myself to learn something new about the animals I love and live with.  I hope you do the same. 

You can discover tons of free resources at our website!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.


Recommended Videos // Related Reading

Enrichment is one of your most empowering tools!

Enrichment at Home Serves To:

Learn more here!

Feeling Down? Get UP!

 

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.

― Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hocus Pocus patiently waiting while I take her pic during our afternoon walk

Note: This blog post is available as a podcast. You can 🎙 listen to it here. 🎙


That’s my girl.  My sunshine.  My Smile.  My whole heaping heart.

When I am down, she lifts me. When I am frustrated she waits for me to become clear.  When I am sad she feels it.  When my boundaries are out of bounds, she reflects this back to me.  When I need space, she gives it.  When I grieve, she is near.  When I need a nudge to get out of my own way, she gently pushes. When I am stuck in the muck of my mind she pulls me out of it.

We walk.  We run. We explore. We laugh. We play.  We let go.

She is a light in the dark. She is a rock when I need rest.  She is unconditional love when I am forgetting to love. She is an angel disguised as a dog.

But most of all, she is my Joy.

I share this with you because we all need someone or something in our life who gives us these gifts.  We all need moments of levity, laughter, and love … 24/7.

Especially now. 

We need to remember there are beloveds by our side who are always holding space for our well-being.  These beloveds – if we let them – can help our mental, emotional, and physical health, especially during these trying times.

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The little conversation, well is over very soon
And I watch in admiration from my corner of the room
And they shine on you with starry eyes and they rain a friendly storm

“Little Conversations” by Concrete Blonde

Little Conversations and Invitations 

It’s time we pay closer attention.  If health concerns can be ruled out, there could be other conversations at hand. That persistent nudge; the constant chuffing; the incessant meowing; that annoying winning; the gentle tugging; those pleading soulful eyes …  are all an invitation.

We often dismiss these behaviors or label them as irritating, annoying or distracting, but what if these behaviors attempting to get your attention are more than what they appear to be?  What if sometimes they are an invitation to get up, move about, rethink, readjust, reevaluate, shift our energy, or get out of our own way?  What if these behaviors were reflecting back to you, what you need in that very moment?

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What do you think Hocus is asking me here, while I am working in my office?

Sure, it could just be a singular desire or need our animal family members are exhibiting:  Maybe he has to pee.  Maybe she’s bored.  Maybe he’s frustrated.  Maybe she’s hungry.  Maybe he wants the cake you left on the kitchen counter.  Of course, these are all perfectly logical explanations for various behaviors. And if you read this post, then you know that pain is a very common medical issue that can create or exacerbate behavior problems in our animal companions.

But what if sometimes, it’s also you, their guardian?

What if our furry, feathered, and scaly friends and family members are more in tune with us than we can possibly imagine?  What if they can read us like an open book?  What if our behavior, emotions, and energy are a beacon to them?  What if our sh*tty mood is a shout-out?  What if they instinctively and intuitively knew what we need in that moment?  What if they truly wanted the best for us always?

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Mr. Beaux at my desk … What do you think he’s asking me?

If you knew this was true, how would you respond?  What would you do?  Would your choices be influenced?  Would your behavior change? Would your emotions change?

It’s worth considering.

And it’s  worth questioning everything. –Every thought. Every belief. Every emotion.

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My Cherokee heritage teaches (much like some of the eastern philosophies) that nothing outside of us is separate from us.  They believe that the world which appears to be outside is merely a mirror, reflecting back to us.  It’s taken me years to even consider this as a possibility, but I am starting to see. I am questioning everything, and staying open with a curious mind. I invite you to stay open and stay curious too, especially when it comes to your critters. 😉

 

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
― Albert Einstein


New Perspective

All philosophy set aside, we have incredible beings by our side who are ready, willing, and able to pull us out of the swamps of sadness.  We have loved ones who may annoy the crap out of us sometimes, but there is a method in the madness.  The only thing we need to do is open the invitation we’ve been given.  Just being willing to look at something from a different perspective can change our worlds.  Our furry family members (and Mother Nature) have helped me to better recognize when I need to shift my mood, my mind, my thoughts, and my behavior.  Sometimes I have to get pulled hard by them, dragging and screaming, but eventually I see clearly.

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Atreyu doing all he can do pull Artax, his beloved horse, out of the Swamps of Sadness

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Other than the incredible colors of Autumn, like many people, I really dislike the time change.  As the days get shorter and the long, dark nights of late fall and winter settle in, many folks find their mood getting darker, too.  As someone who dealt with depression for two thirds of my life, I have incredible empathy for souls who get sad.  And at this time of year we see more of it.

Did you know ….?

  • Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
  • It’s a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • Over 16 million people in the U.S. (6.7 percent of the pop) experience more than one episode of major depression during a year.
  • A further 5 percent live with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression.
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my husband and I might have had this exact conservation

The symptoms of SAD are so similar to those of depression that it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the two.  SAD, also known as winter blues, typically affects women. In fact, 4 in 5 people with the condition are women, and the reasons for this predisposition are likely to be genetic.  However, while some people are genetically prone to the condition, they resist the environmental factors that might trigger it.

SAD is defined as a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter.  Symptoms of the “Winter Pattern” of SAD include:

  • Low energy
  • Hypersomnia
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Craving for carbohydrates
  • Social withdrawal (feel like “hibernating”)

I laughed out loud when I read those symptoms, because who doesn’t feel like that in the winter?!?  Hell, I feel like that when the temp drops below 60! 😀  I mean, come on. Who wants to eat a carrot stick or bowl of broccoli when it’s cold and rainy?!  And who doesn’t love to hibernate in the winter?!

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Hocus Pocus hibernating in our bed on a cold morning

All creatures want comfort when we are cold.  We all want to feel good when we feel bad.  And everyone has various methods for curing their ailments.  The point is, it’s important to recognize when we are feeling down, and then do something about it. We gotta address the “down”.

daylight savings time meme


Don’t Stay Stuck!

Wildfires, geopolitical insanity, and the fear-mongering the media sells, are all testing our resilience.  But so can seasonal changes.  Whether or not you’re affected by the weather, many are.  So if we become aware of these seasonal challenges we can help others.  There are four medical types of treatment for SAD:

  • Medication
  • Light therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Vitamin D

Those are the medical treatments, but there are other tools, too!  I used to take meds (which helped), but I weaned myself off of it many years ago.  Instead of the meds, I replaced big pharma by meditating twice a day, began to question my thoughts, went to Energy Medicine school,  got into acupuncture, discovered tools for Empaths, began taking Clearing Baths, practiced more self care, discovered why alcohol made my depression worse, increased my exercise, played more, created art, laughed more, became kinder to myself, and made sure my “tribe” was tight.

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Empaths feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our over-intellectualized society. – Dr. Judith Orloff

Even if you, your family member, coworkers, neighbors, or friends are not a HSP or an Empath, we all have emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental challenges. But we also have fabulously effective tools to Get Up and Get Out of our funk!  If each person began practicing just one of those tools I listed above we’d feel better.

I promise.

Here’s a helpful fact … Seasonal depression is caused by insufficient daylight, making the condition more widespread in countries that are farther from the Equator.  A new study in Copenhagen, Denmark,has discovered the power of daylight as a natural antidepressant. (You can read the details in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.)

 

Daylight is effectively a natural antidepressant. Like many drugs currently used against depression, more daylight prevents serotonin from being removed from the brain.

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soaking up the sun with my best girl pal

So what does that research quote tell you?  To me, it says that one of the most powerful (free) tools/resources we have to feel better, stay healthy, and increase our mental and emotional health is something we have access to every day … the sun.  We all need to be outside more. We all need to play more. We all need to soak up the sun’s healing rays.

I wish we all would.  Everyone.  Every day.

Thankfully, our beloved Hocus Pocus and Mr. Beaux don’t let a single day go by without going outside. -Even when it’s the last thing I want to do :/  But after I do go outside and have an adventure with them (even when it’s cold-as-all-get-out), I am so damn happy that I did.  I am so unbelievably grateful they pulled me away from work, or out of my comfort zone to get outside and play.  My energy and mood shifts completely.

And because We Are One, so does theirs 😉

Below is a video I was inspired to create after I had been in a heavy funk.  Hocus, as always, (and unlike no other) once again, pulled me out of the muck of my mind with her puppy-like persuasive ways and means …

 

All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
Only you

-Yaz


From Suffering to Joy

We all have natural healing tools available around the world.  It’s quite true that “Nature Heals”.  Our animal friends know this.  Our bodies and brains crave daylight; this energy not only allows the body to release the “feel-good hormone”, serotonin, but walking outside during the day (even when it’s cold) will give you vital sun exposure.

And on an energetic level, it’s important to recognize that nature exists in a constant state of nonresistance.  Mother Nature feels like home to many of us because her vibration is pure. 🌊 Our energy is most aligned to its highest and pure essence when we are immersed in nature. We are most grounded in nature.  So are our animal friends.

They know this. They feel it, too.

But have you noticed that we also feel this way when we are in the presence of our animal companions?  They are the embodiment of Unconditional Love!

Joy is our true state of being; all else is an illusion we’ve bought into. There’s nothing inherently “wrong” with this illusion, but is it how we really want to feel?  Do we want to live life feeling down every day or do we want to be free?

I choose freedom.

I choose to remember that my beloveds want this for me, too.  The ones we often take for granted are doing their best to help us.  We can wake up from our funk when we start to realize that feeling joy, gratitude, and love, and being playful is our inherent nature. We can choose a new way of being every moment of the day.

We can get up and get outside.  Right Now 😉

Be well.  Be Kind.  And be Good to each other.  Stay open to miracles in the mind and remember to laugh and play, friends!

 

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” 
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Exploring the Redwood National and State Park with Hocus

 

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.” Alan Wilson Watts


Recommended Reading:


Autumn Colors_fall Leaves_Khalil Quotes_Conscious Companion_dog life.jpg

Explore More At Our Website!


And in the infamous words of George Michael …

What’s there to think about, baby? … Gotta get up to get down

Benevolent Beings

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Mr. Beaux patiently waiting to head out for an adventure with me

Hello Bright Light!  And Happy October! ✨🍁✨🍂💫

I hope this finds you well and at peace in all ways.  Today I am inspired, so I Am guided to share something beautiful with you.  My hope is that it will inspire you, too!

As I write this we are snuggled up with our fur fam while the wind and rain tap and dance wildly at the window panes.  It’s quite a blustery day here in the new England area; something we never experienced on the west coast in southern California.  But we always make the most of less than ideal circumstances.  That’s been one of the most empowering lessons I’ve learned from my husband, Hocus Pocus, and the Kitty Boys.  Rather than complaining, they accept. And may I dare say, embrace challenging circumstances at times?

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

I love that quote, even though I am not yet able to live my life that way every day.  But I do know someone who does.  You may have read about him before in this post, or this one.  His name is Mr. Beaux.  And he is my greatest teacher. He is the one, who consistently offers A Love Not of This World.

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Taking a break during one of our daily strolls

We recently celebrated his 19th birthday.  (That’s roughly 92+ in human years). ✨🐾✨
💜🖤💛 Yeah, this cool cat is rockin’ the geriatric life.  He is incredible.  I often jokingly say that I drink espresso just to keep up with his high-energy-arse.  If I have half of the sass and energy that he has when I am 50, I will be living the Good Life.  Here’s my birthday tribute to him:

This beautiful benevolent being has been one of the most amazing teachers for me on so many levels.  Not only does he challenge me to see things in a new way, but he has helped me to become a better human.  Every moment I’m grateful for the gift of this powerful teacher and for the blessing of being on this journey with him.  And since today is World Black Cat day, I thought this would be the purrfect time to share some thoughts about the benevolent beings who are here to teach us, and help us to “unlearn”.

“You must unlearn what you have been programmed to believe since birth. That software no longer serves you if you want to live in a world where all things are possible.” – Jacqueline E. Purcell

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Mr. Beaux, our Bodhisattva enjoying sunshine sits in the backyard with me

I adore black cats – all shapes, sizes, and species.  Between our family we’ve been graced with 3 black cats.  Black panther is one of my totem animals, and I find all melanistic creatures to be absolutely beautiful!  But I get it.  Not everyone loves the dark colors of life.  And not everyone dorks out about animal days like I do.

If you are anything like my husband, you might be rolling your eyes at the “black cat day” thing.  That’s cool.  When you meet one you’ll change your mind 😉   And when you do, he/she will transform your life … if you are open and allow it.

This morning while gleefully telling him how excited I was that there are two black cats days of celebration in the year he said, “Did you know that it’s national safety pin day tomorrow?” Confused, I asked him why he’s telling me this.  He quickly responded, “There’s a day for everything ridiculous.  I bet there’s even a flying squirrel day or a world poptart day.”

Rolling my eyes at him and his lack of enthusiasm, I left the room and went back to celebrating Black Cats Everywhere.  How did I do this?  I made a super cheesy video of course! 😀   🐾You can view it here.



After creating that video I got all feely and decided to post on our Empowered Path page how I really feel about Mr. Beaux, black cats, and the benevolent beings who walk with us. This was the quote that sparked it all …

“It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but it was deeper than that; a sense of belonging to a place I never knew I wanted but somehow always needed. It was a home that carried a heartbeat.” — Nikki Rowe
✨🐾✨

That quote spoke loudly to me.  I mean, full-on-swoon-feels;  immediately Mr. Beaux came to mind.  And that’s when I was guided to share.  If you read this post, you’ll remember that I did not want this Stranger In Black.  

But here we are today.  And I owe him my all. 

It’s been nearly 20 years with this master teacher by my side and I’m still in awe of him.
Resistant to him at first, and certain I knew it all, I later became the humble student.  He became my greatest teacher.

When I’m frustrated, fearful, triggered, or tired, he holds space for healing and overlooks error.  With every heartbeat he exudes unconditional love.  With every moment he provides endless life lessons. Mr. Beaux has become my memory of our True Home.

Since the day our paths crossed nearly two decades ago he’s been a master teacher and Guide.  ♥️  Through this cool cat I’ve compassionately conquered some of my toughest life lessons, was introduced to his Lyran family, and discovered what unconditional love truly is.  Through his infinite wisdom I am still learning to “unlearn” and see through the veils. But mostly Mr. Beaux reminds us to never fear, to live boldly, to take risks, to speak our truth, to stay young at heart, to be kind always, to question everything, that patience pays off, and to always explore beyond the boundaries of life.

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Walking with Mr. Beaux on the Cliff near our home in Newport

Mr. Beaux is not unlike the enlightened ones who came before.  Don’t let their fur suits fool you; many are wise beyond words.  There are countless divine teachers who walk with us, reminding us of the Light within us all, and the love we are capable of being.
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Here’s to the magical, mystical beings in our lives who hold space for us always, and who lead with Love.  May the grace and gifts they offer be an endless source of inspiration and magic. ✨🐾💫

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― R. Dahl

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I would like to note that my husband’s cynical comments were later clarified.  He was quick to point out the silliness of seemingly random days of the year, because, from his point of view, we could be honoring the ones we love and respect every day; we don’t need a day of the year to tell us to be loving, to appreciate, or to be kind.  He’s right. Every day is a gift.  And every day we have the opportunity to show our gratitude toward the ones we love. We don’t need a calendar to tell us that. 🙂

Do you have a benevolent being in your life who’s helping you to walk on an empowered path?  We’d love to hear about him/her and see pics❣️


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L. M. M.

… And in a world where magnificent, magical benevolent beings can become our greatest teachers. ✨🐾✨

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Mr. Beaux posing with a gorgeous gift from my husband


P.S. There IS a National Poptart Day – it’s on the 19th of May! And Squirrel Appreciation Day is Jan 21 — Hocus loves that day 😀

So there ya go.

Oh, and if you missed it, October 16 was National Feral Cat day, and don’t forget: October 29th is national cat day.  Ha!!

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Be well, friends.  Be Kind.  And remember to laugh!

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Fun Facts and Cool Links: